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  • Place of origin:

    France (possibly, made)
    Great Britain (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1850s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Verdier (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk, metal and carved vegetable ivory

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The parasol was a popular accessory during the 19th and early 20th century, a period when sun tanned skin was highly undesirable. It functioned both as a sunshade and a fashionable accompaniment to dress, distinguishing itself from the umbrella through its infinite and luxurious forms and essentially feminine status. Like the earlier trend for fans parasols displayed an individual's style and could be used in a coquettish ritual to hide the modest bearer from unwanted glances.

Folding parasols such as this were designed for use on carriage rides, the perfect opportunity to flaunt stylish accessories. There are two hinges, one in the middle of the stick making it compact when not in use, and the other at the top enabling the canopy to be angled towards the sun. The folding hinge is held in place by a sliding metal tube which bears the name of the maker 'Verdier'. Originally an umbrella manufacturer this French firm, like many others, began to mass produce parasols in the 1830s as their popularity increased.

Physical description

Beige-ecru silk parasol with a carved vegetable ivory ferule and handle which folds in half and is secured with a yellow metal slide, stamped 'VERDIER'. Handle is further hinged near the top of the cover, so that the parasol can be tilted when put up. Fringe over a metal frame.

Place of Origin

France (possibly, made)
Great Britain (possibly, made)


1850s (made)


Verdier (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silk, metal and carved vegetable ivory

Marks and inscriptions

Stamped on metal slide-hinge


Length: 450 mm fully extended, Length: 37 cm when handle folded, Length: 24 cm silk cover

Descriptive line

Folding parasol with cream silk cover and cream fringe, carved ivory stick; made by Verdier, possibly made in France or Great Britain, 1850s


Silk (textile); Fringe; Artificial ivory; Metal



Subjects depicted

Roses (flowers)


Accessories; Fashion; Women's clothes; Textiles; Parasols & Umbrellas; Personal accessories


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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